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What do I need to do and what forms do I need to get full legal custody of my daughter and change her last name to mine?

Sarasota, FL |

We left the "father" about 3 yrs ago right after she turned 1. While I was pregnant (2 yrs into the relationship)I found out that he wasn't really divorced but only separated. He got divorced after that but was also verbally and sometimes physically abusive to me. My daughter has his last name and we were never married. He does not pay child support. I've been to a lawyer to find out how to do this and he wanted me to sue him. I don't want to cause drama, make him angry, or want his money. He's extremely manipulative and can make nearly anyone believe anything. All I have are copies of forms he filled out for "Men Stopping Violence" that he sent me trying to get me to come back. I'd like for my daughter to have the option to meet him on her terms when she's old enough to understand...

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Attorney answers 1


Talk with your attorney. If that attorney who recommended suing him, ask him why? with what goal? There may be some panorama of Goals, which includes a fallback position of him consenting to full custody, consenting to change of name, consenting to adoption (were you to remarry), etc. Don't just blow off the idea; it may not be for "drama."

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